Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

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Aifreann Lá Féile Bríde, 2010

Conradh na Gaeilge, Inse Coir, Baile Atha Claith.

Aifreann Lá Féile Bríde 2010.

An cuimhin libh nuair a bhíomar ar scoil gur minic a fuaireamar scéal le scríobh faoi Naomh Bríd timpeall an ama seo den bhliain?
Seo mar a scríobhamar:

Rugadh Naomh Bríd I BhFochairt i gcCondae Lughaidh sa bhliain 453.  Taoiseach ab ea a hathair agus sclabhaí ab ea a máthair. Críostaí ab ea a máthair agus tógadh Bríd mar Chríostai. Nuair a dhfhás sí suas shocraigh sí a bheith ina bean rialta. Ise an chéad bhean rialta a bhí riamh in Eirinn. Scríobhamar faoi na míorúilti a d’oibir Bríd agus faoi an saghas mna ab ea í.

Nilimid ar scoil anois buíochas le Dia agus stopaimis den chuntas ar shaol Bhríde agus machnaimis ar na ceachtanna atá le foghlaim againn sa lá atá inniu ann ó Naomh Bríd.

Beidir nach raibh Brid riamh chomh habharthach(relevant) is atá sí inniu.  Ar an gcéad dul síos bhí grá agus ómós milltineach ag Naomh Bríd don chruthaiocht, sé sin don dúlra, do ainmhithe, don éanlaith agus do gach rud a chruthaigh Dia. Chonaic si lorg Dé i ngach rud agus i ngach áit.  Is iomai scéal inste faoin ómós agus faoin ghrá seo – fíor nó bréagach iad tá siad spéisiúil.  Seo ceann acu:  Lá amháin bhí Bríd ag ullmhú dinnéar don a h-athair agus do chúigear de na huaisle a bhí ar chuairt aige. Bhí sé phíosa feola I gcoire ar an tine. Tháinig madra caol ocrach thart agus d’amharc sé go truacanta ar Bhríd. Leagh a croí agus thug sí píosa den fheoil dó.  Ar mhi-amharai an tsaoil chonaic a hathair caidé a rinne sí. Léim sé amach as an teach ag béicigh ar Bhríd. Thog se an clar den phota agus caide a dearfa ach go raibh se phiosa feola sa phota. Mioruilt.  Taim cinnte go bhfuil Brid inniu ag iarraidh ar an chine daonna stad den scrias ata ar siul again; ta an t-uisce agus an t-aer truaillithe again, tan a foraoiseacha lomtha agus ta athru aeraide i mbeal an phobail.

Naomh Bríd

Glacaimis sampla Naomh Bríd inniu agus tosaimis ag tabhairt aire don domhan choisricthe a chruthaigh Dia. Is páirt den chruthaiocht sin muid féin freisin.  Naomh idirnáisiúnta ab ea Bríd. Bhí clú agus cáil uirthi ar fud na hEorpa, ó Éirinn go dti an Ghearmáin agus ó Albain chun na hIodáile. Táimid-ne beo sa ré is idir–náisiúnta a chonaic an cine daonna riamh; táimid ag caint le Skipe lenár gclann is ár gcairde ar an taobh eile den domhan; tá fhios againn láithreach bonn nuair a tharlaíonn crith talún I Haiti nó speirling san Ind.  Tá an tír seo againne idirnáisiúnta ar shlí eile ó aimsir an Tíogar Cheiltigh. Tá daoine as gach cearn ina gconaí in ár dtír, ó Mheiriceá theas agus ó go leor áit eile.  Cén sort fáilte a chuirimid roimh na h-eachtrannach seo? Cén saghas fáilte a chuirfeadh Bríd rompu?

Tá fhios againn ó na scéalta fúithi go gcuirfeadh sí fearadh na fáilte rompu. Ceann de na scéalta sin is ea an scéal faoi chlaíomh luachmhar a hathara a thug siídon bhacach a bhí ag lorg deirce. Chreid sí gur cheart dúinn roinnt lenár gcomharsan. An bhfuilimid ag cleachtadh ár n-oidhreacht Cheiltach, oidhreacht Bhríde agus teagasc Íosa Críost a thug na seacht h-oibreacha corportha dúinn,

Bia a thabhairt don ocrach,
Deoch don tartmhar,
Éadach don nocht,
Aiocht don deorai,
Cuairt ar phriosunaigh’s a bhfuascailt,
Cuairt ar dhaoine tinne,
‘s na mairbh a adhlacadh.

Is féidir linn a bheith mórtasach as slí amháin a bhfuilimid ag déanamh aithrise ar Bhríd agus sin an cuidiu a thugaimid do dhaoine ar fud na cruinne in am an ghátair. Féach ar caidé atáimid á dhéanamh do Haiti san am I láthair. Is cinnte go bhfuil Bríd mórtasach asainn faoi sin agus gur fada buan a leanfaimid mar sin.  Le linn a saoil chaith Bríd a lán dá cuid ama ag déanamh síochána idir thaoisigh faoi thalamh agus go leor rudaí nach é. Uaireanta bíonn dearcadh soineanta (naïve) againn go raibh saol foirfe ann sa ré Ceilteach ach ní hamhlaidh a bhí.  Rinne si idirghabháil idir an saol Ceilteach agus an Chríostaíocht fosta. Comhairleoir ab ea í. An raibh oiread riachtanais riamh le lucht déanta na síochána ‘s atá sa lá ata inniu ann, i dtuaisceart na hEireann, sa Tír Bheannaithe, san Iaraic agus ar eile? Is bean don ré seo í Bríd go cinnte.

Is ábhar mórtais dúinn go bhfuil mna de chuid na hEireannn sa bhearna ag deanamh siochana. Féach ar Mháire Mhic Róibín, ar N-Iar-Uachtarán ag obair ar son na síochána ar fud an domhain. Nach muid a bhí bródúil nuair a thug an tUachtarán Obama onóir ar leith dithe anuraidh.  Bean mhór síochána eile is ea Máire Mhic Giolla Iosa, ar nUachtarán anois. Ghlac sí ag tógáil droichid mar a mana dona céad tréimhse mar Uachtarán.  Tugaimis creidiúint do bhean eile narbh Eireannach í ach a d’oibir go díograiseach do shíochán i dTuaisceart na hÉireann, sé sin Mo Mowlan go ndéana Dia a mhaith uirthi.  Tá na mná seo agus thuilleadh ná iad ag siúl i lorg Bhríde.  Tá tuilleadh ag siúl ina lorg ag foirthin ar na bochta, an tSiuir Stainlaus, an tSiuir Consilio, Alice Leahy agus a lán eile.  Tá an fheimineachas a bhí chomh láidir i saol Bhríde a chleachtadh ag na mná seo go léir. Tá an fheimineachas riachtanach i ndéanamh síochána.  Tá an fheimineachas riachtanachi  i saol na hEaglaise inniu freisin ach sin scéal do lá eile.

Bean naofa spioradálta ab ea Bríd. Tá ocras spioradálta ar dhaoine inniu. Tá siad ag lorg Dé, go minic I ghan fhios dóibh féin.

Bhunaigh Bríd clochar i gCill Dara agus clochair eile ar fud na tíre mar láthair do urnai, smaoineamh agus slánu (prayer, contemplation and healing). An bhfuil láithreacha mar seo le fáil in Eirinn inniu? Is cinnte go bhfuil gá leo.

D’fhéadfaimis go léir anseo anocht céad rud eile a rá faoi Bhríd ach stopaimis anois agus tabharaimis onóir do bhean cheannasach, do bhean chrionna, do chomhairleoir, do bhean naofa a gciallaíonn a h-ainm bean uasal – the exalted one- agus gach duine a bhfuil an t-ainm Bríd orthu ciallaíonn sé an rud céanna.

Go mbeannaí , Naomh Pádraig, Naomh Bríd and Naomh Colmcille muid go léir. Amen.

Agnes Coll rsm

Translation

Homily delivered by Agnes Coll rsm on the feast of St. Brigid  for Conradh na Gaeilge. Inchicore. Co. Dublin.

In our school days at this time of year we were often given the task of writing a story on the life of Saint Brigid.

We wrote something like the following: Saint Brigid was born in Faughart, Co. Louth in the year 453. Her father was a chieftain and her mother a slave. Her mother was a Christian and so Brigid was raised as a Christian also. When she grew up she decided to be a nun. She was the first nun ever in Ireland.

We went on to write about the wonders and miracles that Brigid worked and the kind of woman she was herself.

Thank God we are no longer at school – but we pause to consider the lessons that we can learn from the life of Brigid.

Perhaps Brigid was never as relevant as she is today. First, Brigid had an immense love for creation that is to say for the environment, the animals, the birds and for everything that God has created. She saw the trace of God in every thing and in every place.

There are many stories told about her love of nature and whether they be literally true or washed over with mythical elements, they are interesting. The following is one of them:

One day Brigid was preparing dinner for her father and five noblemen who were visiting him. There were six pieces of meat cooking on the fire when a hungry dog came in and looked pitiably at Brigid. Her heart melted and she gave the dog a piece of meat. As ill-luck would have it her father saw what she had done and jumped up shouting at Brigid. He whipped the lid from the pot and what did he see? Yes, there were six pieces of meat in the pot. Miracle!

I am convinced that Brigid is asking all people to stop the destruction on which we are embarked; the water and air are polluted by us, the forests are stripped bare and climate change has become a household word.

Let us take the example of Brigid and take care of the blessed earth created by God. We too are part of that creation.

Brigid was an international saint – she was famed throughout Europe from Ireland to Germany and from Scotland to Italy. We live in an age where international communication was never so good – we talk to our friends on the other side of the world through Skype; we know immediately when any international event happens whether it is an earthquake in Haiti or a hurricane in India. Our country became ‘international’ during the years of the Celtic Tiger through immigration from all over the world.

How did we welcome our newcomers? How would Brigid have welcomed them? We know from the stories about her that she would have given them a true heartfelt welcome. One such story is that about her father’s precious sword which she gave to a crippled person who was seeking alms. She believed it was right to share with our neighbours. Are we practising our Celtic heritage, the heritage of Brigid and the teaching of Jesus Christ who demonstrated the seven works of mercy for us:

To give drink to the thirsty
bread to the hungry
clothing to the naked
shelter to the stranger
to visit the prisoners and free them
to visit the sick
to bury the dead.

We can be proud of one way in which we imitate Brigid; we give to those abroad in their time of need as we have done for Haiti. It is certain that Brigid is proud of us and may we long continue in this tradition.

During her life Brigid spent a lot of her time making peace between warring chieftains. Sometimes we naively think that life was perfect in Celtic times but it was not so. Brigid forged a connection between Celtic and Christian life. She was a wise peacemaker. Did we ever need peacemakers more in our world – in the North of Ireland, in the Holy Land, in Iraq. Brigid is indeed a woman for our times.

It is a cause of pride to us that there are still peace-making women in Ireland. Mary Robinson, our past President works for peace throughout the world. Were we not proud when President Obama honoured her last year? Another peace-loving woman is our present president Mary McAleese whose motto in the first term of her presidency was ‘building bridges’. We admire other women, perhaps not from Ireland, like Mo Mowlam who worked hard for peace in the North of our country. May God now reward her.

There are many other women among us who work for peace and justice Sr. Stanislaus, Sr. Consilio, Alice Leahy to name just a few.  The feminine traits so practised by Brigid are practised by these women too. There cannot be peace without these traits. They are much needed in our Church just now but that is a question for another time.

Brigid was a holy, spiritual woman. People today are spiritually hungry. They are seeking God though sometimes without knowing it themselves.

Brigid built convents in Kildare and around the country as centres of prayer, contemplation and healing. Are there such centres in Ireland today? Certainly there is need for them.

We could all add many stories about Brigid but we will stop here and give honour to a kind, wise woman who gave good advice; to a holy woman whose name means ‘the exalted one’. This is true for everyone who is called Brigid.

 May Patrick, Brigid and Colmcille bless us all. Amen.

Agnes Coll rsm
South Central Province

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